A few weeks back I was delighted to open my email and see a reply that someone had sent me in regards to a previous post (which itself was a reply to Sam Harris) called Why I Do Criticize Israel – A Response to Sam Harris. After apologizing for the obscene amount of time it took to get around to sending the sender a reply, he gave me permission to quote his criticisms and address them on my blog (if you haven’t listened to my reply to Harris, it is below).
Thus, quoted below verbatim, are the criticism I shall be addressing:
A few points you neglected in your talk which I would like to comment on:
1) Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, so your expansionist claims in respect to Gaza, are incorrect. There is no occupation in Gaza. Gazans were given complete autonomy as to who their elected leaders would be. They chose Hamas.
2) Your stated claim that Hamas has a 40% approval rating is for economic reasons. (It has increased since the recent conflict) Hamas has used aid money to build tunnels instead of the welfare of it people. They have turned Gaza into a military camp instead of a thriving community. The tunnels into Israel are for offensive purposes only. Israel was justified in destroying them.
3) I agree with you on these points: I’m against the occupation, I condemn religious extremists on both sides and I’m against new appropriation of land for Israeli settlements. I believe a two-state solution to the conflict is necessary. I didn’t hear your opinion on what the resolution should be in your talk.
4) You claim that Israel’s aim, for prolonging the conflict, is to expand its territory. Actually, just the opposite is true. Israel has offered Palestinian leadership their own state several times as recently as 2001. Hamas will never accept a Palestinian state as long as there is a Jewish one. But, it even goes deeper than that. Not only do they not want a Jewish state, but they don’t want a Jewish /presence/ in the area. Harris is correct. There would be genocide on a monumental scale if the military power was reversed.
Thanks for reading,
I want to thank Dan for his comments, and my reply shall follow after the jump!